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People v. B.L.

July 27, 2000

IN RE B.L., A MINOR (THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PETITIONER-APPELLEE, V. B.L., RESPONDENT-APPELLANT).


Appeal from the Circuit Court of Lake County. No. 97--JD--625 Honorable Joseph R. Waldeck, Judge, Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice McLAREN

The minor, B.L., appeals from his adjudication as a delinquent minor and ward of the court. We affirm.

On September 25, 1997, the State filed a petition for adjudication of wardship against B.L., alleging that B.L. was a delinquent minor. The petition contained the same address for B.L., his mother, Janice, and his father, George. On the first court date, Janice appeared and told the court that George and she had not been together for over three years and that she did not know George's address. The record entry sheet indicates that George was present in court on the next date. However, no court reporter was present.

On December 29, 1997, the trial was continued on the State's motion. Janice was present and told the court that she and George were divorced and that, while she knew that George lived in Des Plaines, he had never told her his address. However, she did have his telephone number at home. The following colloquy then took place:

"MR. NEWSOME [assistant State's Attorney]: Judge, I would ask if we could amend the petition to change the last known address for the father as DesPlaines [sic], and maybe we could get a different address. Do you have that he has ever been present in court?

MR. WINEBERG [public defender]: He was here November 26th.

MR. NEWSOME: So we do have jurisdiction.

MR. WINEBERG: There was."

After a discussion of supervision of the minor, the following discourse occurred:

"THE COURT: I'll be happy to give you a longer date if you want, but the statute--the law requires that a parent be present at the time of the trial.

MS. L.: I understand that.

THE COURT: We could try and force your former husband to come to trial.

MS. L.: Actually, I think if you just asked, to be honest, he probably would come. It's better than ...


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